Weekly News From South County High School

From the Principal


Last Friday, our symphonic band traveled to West Potomac High School to participate in our VBODA State Assessment (think SOLs for band).  I am pleased to announce that the symphonic band received straight superior ratings (the highest a group can receive).  The marching band also received a superior rating this past fall at their state assessment, so the South County Band Program is now a Virginia Honor Band for the 4th year in a row.  Please join me in congratulating those students on a job well done!

Last weekend, our Model UN team competed and one of our students earned the Best Delegate and the Gavel in her committee. Congratulations to Ms. Rebecca Connor for her hard work and accomplishment. I want to also give a shout out to our UN Teacher Sponsor Ms. Chris House for working with these students and helping to provide them with another real-world experience.

On the same day last week, one of South County’s finest, Ms. Siedeen Ahmed was awarded with the Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County. She was one of 26 students recognized this year. Ms. Ahmed’s contribution to South County has been that she founded the South County Interfaith Club that serves to provide a safe space for student-led discussions about personal beliefs and current societal effects of various religions in the community and county. I have attended a couple of the activities they have put together and they have been some of the most impactful opportunities I have been a part of EVER!

This week Mrs. Woodson’s marketing students partnered with South County Best Buddies to share, “What Fills Your Cup?” The character exercise was crafted to allow students to express what fills their personal passions and internal fortitude. As part of the Portrait of a Graduate benchmark for Goal Setting and Resilient Learner, the students verbally expressed their desire to become their authentic selves through the process of shedding what doesn’t define them.  The cup represents the clear outer shell of each individual, and students were able to design their individual traits that shape who they are as a whole person focusing on the inside.  Students discussed personal reflections of loss, desires, passion, beliefs, and stress. The ultimate goal was achieved as students were able to build a deeper understanding that we are all searching for who we want to truly become. Here are a couple of pictures.

On Wednesday, a small group of our Broadcast Journalism students had the opportunity to go over to Apple 21 to see a show being put together. This was another opportunity for some of our students to have exposure to a real-world experience and then be able to bring it back and apply it in their work at our school. Ms. Delinski stated that not only did they get to shadow a team of people filming a live show, but the interviewee on the show was the great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and they got to talk to her after the show.  Additionally, they got to speak to the woman who interviewed her, a White House historian.  The whole experience was super cool, and the kids were giddy afterwards. We are so lucky to have these opportunities for our students and thank you for supporting our efforts to make them happen!

Congratulations to our Men’s Varsity Basketball Team who earned the schools second State Championship Title in 3 years! The tournament was cut short and we were named co-champions along with Centreville HS due to the Coronavirus precautions, but I am confident we would have whooped up on them! It has been a great season and these young men have been awarded and recognized for their efforts on the hardwood!  Great job fellas!

I know that as parents and community members you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all that is going on with the Coronavirus. Let me begin by saying that everything that you are feeling is normal. It is okay to be worried, and it is okay to be cautious. In fact, you should be.   But what is most important is that you stay informed and continue to follow the suggested protocols around health care; (i.e. hand washing, coughing into sleeves, seeking out medical advice in the event of virus-related symptoms, etc.). Please know that we are consistently working in conjunction with the medical professionals trying to get, and then disseminate the most current information to our families. If parents or guardians have questions about the illness or symptoms, we encourage them to talk with a Communicable Disease Nurse at the Fairfax County Health Department during business hours. The phone number is 703-267-3511.

Along these lines, as we prepare for possible closures and the possibility of distance learning having to take place, I ask that any family who does not have access to the internet at home and would like an FCPS issued MI-FI device at no cost, please complete this form  indicating you would like access.  Also, parents will need to complete the parent permission form in order to pick up the device.  We will notify the families when the device is available at the school for pickup.

I also want to strongly encourage that students remain engaged in their learning during this unexpected break.  Teachers will still have work posted that students can visit. Additionally, FCPS cable channels with learning activities are now available. New instructional videos are currently being developed and recorded and will be added to the programming shortly. Channel 21 includes elementary school programming, Channel 25 includes middle school programming, and Channel 99 includes high school programming. This content will also be available online at www.fcps.edu.  Again, I can't stress enough how important it is for all students to stay engaged.  The longer students are away, the larger the gaps that can develop.

Finally, I wanted to share a couple of resources provided by Central Office staff to ensure that you as parents have the access to and be a support to your students while they continue to progress at home. Please take a look at the documents here. All parents should have access to your child’s Blackboard sites. If for any reason you do not have access, you can either use your child’s username and password, or begin the registration process through this link.

Family, we are in this thing together. Please know that we are treading in uncharted waters, but we will work to provide your children with the best possible access to their education. As much as possible, we will try to maintain as much normalcy as we can with respect to communication with you. If you have concerns about your children’s progress, or social emotional being, feel free to contact us so that we can at the very least point your family in the right direction for resources. With the recent news about the closing of school until April 10th from the Superintendent, we are making the building available to students on Monday March 16th from 9:00am - 3:00pm to come to school to retrieve any personal belongings they may need over this extended break.  All students should enter and exit the building through Entrance 1.  Take care of your health and take nothing for granted. I look forward to seeing you all again soon. #OneStallion